Madhya Pradesh polls: BJP leader Sartaj Singh cries after not figuring in 3rd list, joins Congress

MP BJP spokesperson said, instead of <i>Vanaprashta</i>, Sartaj Singh wants to remain in <i>Grihastha (ashram), </i>while<i> </i>Congress took a dig at BJP saying it has a habit of treating senior leaders in this manner

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Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Sartaj Singh Thursday wept openly after his name did not figure in the third list of party's candidates for the November 28 Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls.

Singh (77) is a two-time MLA from Seoni-Malwa seat in the state's Hoshangabad district.

The BJP Thursday released its third list of 32 candidates, leaving only six seats, in the 230-member MP House, for which no names have been declared so far.

These are Seoni-Malwa, from which Singh is a sitting MLA, Panna, Lakhnadoun, Bhopal North, Mahidpur and Garoth.

Sitting among his supporters, the Sikh leader tried to conceal his tears by covering his face for a few moments.

According to a supporter of Singh, the BJP has told the veteran MLA that he would not be nominated from Seoni-Malwa.

Singh was earlier dropped as MP PWD minister along with state Home minister Babulal Gaur in June 2016 reportedly due to old age.

When contacted, Singh refused to divulge his next move and said that he was deliberating with supporters as well as senior leaders in Itarsi town in Hoshangabad.

Asked for a comment on Singh's teary reaction after the announcement of the party's third list, MP BJP spokesperson Anil Soumitra said it was "unbecoming" on the part of the former.

"The BJP has valued him immensely. The party has made him Union minister, twice MP Minister, MP and MLA. What more does he want?" Soumitra questioned.

"Instead of Vanaprashta (retirement in forest), he wants to stay put in Grihastha (household)," he added.

Meanwhile, the Congress took a dig at the BJP and said that the latter had a habit of treating senior leaders in such a manner.

MP Congress spokesperson Bhupendra Gupta claimed that the BJP had "no respect" for elders and gave the example of party patriarch LK Advani.

Asked whether the Congress was ready to field Singh from Hoshangabad constituency, as it has already announced a candidate from Seoni-Malwa seat, Gupta said such matters were decided by the party's high command.

Congress sources, however, said Singh had been offered a ticket by the opposition party to contest from Hoshangabad.

The BJP and Congress are yet to declare candidates for six and 17 seats respectively.

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Published: 8 Nov 2018, 6:20 PM